On the Riverbank
Eating and drinking
There are a variety of pubs, bars and restaurants affording good views of the river all the way from Putney to Mortlake, especially on the Middlesex bank. They range from old fashioned boozers to one of London's finest restaurants. All of them tend to be very popular on Boat Race day so it's worth arriving early in order to get a table and the best views.
The Eight Bells
88 Fulham High Street, London SW6 3JS
0207 736 6307
90-90a Fulham High Street, SW6 3LF
0207 384 3573
- On the Middlesex Bank close to Putney Bridge and Putney Bridge Tube Station.
A former temperance billiard hall, whose function ironically, was to prevent working men falling under the influence of drink, it is a large Art Nouveau building, still displaying many original features. Located on the Middlesex Bank at the begiining of Fulham High Street it is an ideal location to dash to after watching the race start from Putney Bridge. There are large screen TV's where the race will be shown.
The Larrik Inn
425 New Kings Road, Fulham SW6 4RN
0207 371 8585
The Coat and Badge
8 Lacy Road, Putney SW15 1NL
0208 788 4900
The Half Moon
93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1EU
0208 780 9383
Prince of Wales
138 Upper Richmond Road, Putney SW15 2SP
0208 788 1552
Hare & Hounds
216 Upper Richmond Road, East Sheen SW14 8AH
0208 876 4304
The Sun Inn
7 Church Road, Barnes SW13 9HE
0208 876 5256
204 Castelnau, Barnes SW13 9DW
0208 563 9811
Rainville Road, Fulham W6 9HA
0207 385 3929
- 10 minutes walk from Fulham's Craven Cottage ground along the Thames Path.
Ten minutes stroll along the Thames Path from Fulham's Craven Cottage ground, this pub has always been a focal part of the riverside community. During World War II a night raid left the bar without windows and beer, but the regulars returned the next day to sup lemonade. This part of the Championship Course is known as Crabtree Reach and the Cambridge old boys rowing club is also known as Crabtree.
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road W6 9HA
0207 386 4200
- 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Bridge and one of London's best restaurant.
Located 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Bridge, along the Thames Path, The River Cafe is one of London's best restaurants. Based in an old warehouse remodelled by architect Richard Rogers and with a Michelin star to its credit the menu is of robust Italian influenced food. There is a view over the river from the dining room but you will need to drop the knives and forks and rush out onto the riverside pathway for the best view as the crews pass. Advance bookings Essential.
Riverside Restaurant and Bar
Riverside Studios, Crisp Rd W6 9RL
0208 237 1009
- Close to Hammersmith Bridge, spectators on the river terrace often see a crucial part of the race.
Situated on the riverbank overlooking Hammersmith Bridge, Riverside Studios is a unique arts and media centre. The bar's river terrace is in a prime location along the Boat Race course. There will be a BBQ from 11am on Boat Race day and there will be a plasma TV screen in the main bar for the last few strokes. Tables are on a first come first serve basis.
Old City Arms
107 Hammersmith Bridge Road, Hammersmith W6 9DA
0208 748 2359
- Located on the approach to Hammersmith Bridge on the Middlesex bank
The closest pub to Hammersmith Bridge ideally located to see the second half of the race from one of the pub's many plasma screens, having watched the crews pass below from the bridge itself.
The Blue Anchor
13 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ
0208 748 5774
- Very popular Boat Race pub, just 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube Station
10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube Station, the pub dates from 1722. Very popular during The Boat Race so arrive early to ensure the best views. The upstairs function room is booked by Boat Race regulars every year and the bars downstairs are packed. The composer Gustav Holst lived at Barnes Terrace in the early 1900s and composed his "Hammersmith Suite" in this pub.
The Rutland Arms
15 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ
0208 748 5586
- 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube Station, very popular on race day.
One of the cluster of pubs on the Middlesex bank that provide sustenance on race day. Two doors away from the Blue Anchor it offers plenty of burgers and chips to keep hunger at bay with plans for extra TV's to be installed. A good venue to watch the crews head for Chiswick Eyot and Barnes Bridge.
19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TA
0208 748 9474
- Located in an alley close to Furnivall Gardens; small but very popular with an outside balcony.
Probably the oldest pub on this stretch of the river, having been serving customers since the 17th Century. The Dove can be found in an alley close to Furnivall Gardens. It has numerous bars, including the official smallest bar in England plus a small outside balcony from where the race can be seen between Hammersmith and Chiswick Eyot. Be warned it is very popular.
The Old Ship
25 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TD
0208 748 2593
- 20 minutes walk from Hammersmith or Ravenscourt Park; large terrace and great views.
Big pub with a beer garden facing the river, it has great views of the river and room for large numbers of people. It is of course very busy on Boat Race day, but if you are there early enough you may get a seat and some of the excellent food.
The Black Lion
2 South Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith W6 9TJ
0208 748 2639
- Situated in a quiet road just behind the Thames Path; beer garden & BBQ
Situated in a quiet road just behind the Thames Path, The Black Lion boasts a large beer garden and offers a barbecue on Boat Race day. Good views can be had from the embankment at this crucial part of the race as the crews race towards Chiswick Eyot.
Corney Reach Way, W4 2TR
0208 994 3111
- Next to Chiswick Pier; 25 minutes walk from Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park or Mortlake Rail station.
Very pleasant riverside restaurant located on Corney Reach next to Chiswick Pier. A good place to eat before the race, or just to enjoy a drink while watching the crews emerge from Chiswick Eyot and move off towards the Bandstand. This is the last hostelry on the Middlesex bank before the finish.
1 Embankment, Putney SW15 1LB
0208 780 1811
- 10 Minutes from Putney Bridge station on the Surrey bank overlooking the start.
Purpose built as a restaurant in the early 1990's this modern restaurant, built to resemble an ocean liner, is now a branch of the Thai Square chain. The bar upstairs provides great views of the Boat Race start. A good place for a spicy lunch or exotic cocktails prior to the race. Advance bookings essential.
The Star and Garter
4 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JN
0208 788 0345
- Ideally situated to watch the start on the Putney Embankment.
A perfect setting on the Surrey bank to watch the pre-race build-up and then the "off". It’s just past the University Stone marking the start; easily obscured by the crowds on race day but a precious item of Boat Race history. The Ballroom on the first floor offers a grandstand setting overlooking the pre race mêlée and the starting line.The 'Star' often sells tickets for entry on Boat Race day so its worth checking in advance.
The Dukes Head
8 Lower Richmond Road SW15 1JN
0208 788 2552
- One of the busiest of Putney's pubs on race day. Offers an excellent view of the start.
One of the most popular pub's on this stretch. The "Duke's" has both a cellar bar, main bar and restaurant with picture windows overlooking the race start. Extensively refurbished in recent years it still has the feel of a traditional town pub, but on Boat Race day it may well be the busiest bar in Putney.
Ye White Hart
The Terrace, Barnes SW13 0NR
0208 876 5177
- 5 Minutes walk from Barnes Bridge station; busy with good views of the last few minutes of the race.
Whether it’s building up to a tight finish or one crew is turning on the style, then the patrons of the "Hart" will have a prime view from the riverside terrace on the Surrey bank. The Hart was rebuilt in 1899 and has been a hostelry since 1676. Expect it to be busy!
The Bull's Head
373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9PY
0208 876 5241
- 5 minutes walk from Barnes Bridge station, offers good food, music and large TV's.
First recorded in 1684 and rebuilt in 1845, The Bulls Head has since 1959 enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of London's finest jazz venues. The Young's pub also has a Thai restaurant in the old stables. You'll have to nip over the Lonsdale Rd to see the crews pass but the race will be on the bar TV's on one of the pub's biggest days of the year.
375 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9PY
0208 392 9216
- Next to The Bulls Head, part of the Italian restaurant chain.
Enjoying stunning views over the Thames from the terrace, the restaurant is split over two floors with a contemporary design. STRADA serves authentic Italian food. Booking essential on Boat Race day.
The Depot Waterfront Brasserie
Tideway Yard, Mortlake High Street SW14 8SN
0208 878 9462
- Mortlake restaurant overlooking the river. Booking essential.
A restaurant rather than pub, so bookings well in advance are needed with a capacity of around 120. Seats by the riverside window are much coveted with the finishing post in sight on the far Middlesex bank. If you haven’t booked for this year, take the longterm view and reserve lunch or dinner for the following year, seats are at a premium on Race day. Past crews have often held their reunions here.
10, Thames Bank, Ship Lane, Mortlake SW14 7QR
0208 876 1439
- 5 minutes from Mortlake station; close to the finish and the last few strokes of the race.
Ideal for watching the last few strokes of the race, located as it is just before the University Stone that signifies the finish of the race. The Ship is next to the Mortlake Brewery and popular with the workers there. The last pub on the Boat Race course expect it to be crammed with supporters celebrating or drowning their sorrows.
|station name||line name||Walking time
to river bank
|Barons Court Station||District||14 mins||View|
|Barons Court Station||Piccadilly||14 mins||View|
|Barnes Bridge Station||Overground||1 min||View|
|Hammersmith Station||District||11 mins||View|
|Hammersmith Station||Piccadilly||11 mins||View|
|Hammersmith Station||Hammersmith & City||12 mins||View|
|Mortlake Rail Station||Overground||6 mins||View|
|Putney Bridge||District||4 mins||View|
|Putney Rail Station||Overground||9 mins||View|
|Ravenscourt Park Station||District||9 mins||View|
|Stamford Brook Station||District||10 mins||View|
|Turnham Green Station||Piccadilly||18 mins||View|
|Turnham Green Station||District||18 mins||View|
Places to watch the race
At 4 miles 374 yards The Boat Race offers numerous free spectating opportunities. Bishops Park near Putney Bridge and Furnivall Gardens near Hammersmith have big screens, refreshments and entertainment while the locations identified on the map are amongst the best to get a good view of the crews as they pass.
A few minutes’ walk from the tube station, Putney Bridge offers great views of the two crews off the start and as far as the Fulham bend. Spectators can then walk to Bishops Park and catch the remainder of the race on the Big Screen.
Craven Cottage will provide fantastic views of the race from the Riverside Terrace, with food and drink available throughout the day. We will be screening Sunderland v Tottenham live from the Riverside Bar from 12.30pm. Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/
The busy embankment in front of the boathouses in Putney is a good place to see the first part of the race, especially if you can get into one of the rowing clubs (who often sell tickets on the door). But there are places to watch even if sometimes obscured by bushes all the way to Hammersmith Bridge.
Barn Elms Boat House
A 10 minute walk towards Hammersmith along the Putney embankment, Barn Elms boathouse has a wide concrete landing stage from where you can see the crews as they race off towards the Mile Post. Be warned though your feet could get wet. Ten minutes further along, the bank in front of Harrods Depository is also a good spot.
10-15 minutes’ walk from Hammersmith tube station, the embankment between Hammersmith Bridge & the Crabtree pub has a footpath offering good views of the river. In the right spot you should be able to see the race for a good few minutes before the crews shoot Hammersmith Bridge.
10 minutes’ walk from Hammersmith Tube Station, the Bridge has always attracted thousands of Boat Race spectators; often the tussle for the lead is fierce as the crews pass below. The Bridge provides good views as the crews come in to view from around the Surrey Bend or as they race into the distance towards Chiswick Eyot and Barnes.
St. Paul's School Boathouse
Located close to Hammersmith Bridge on the Surrey bank and accessible from the towpath, the space in front of the boathouse provides a good view of the crews battling at close quarters as they race off towards Chiswick Eyot. Another place to be careful your feet dont get wet.
There are good viewing points on the Middlesex bank all the way from The Dove to Dukes Meadow, Chiswick Pier is one of the best. One of the crews often puts in a decisive push at this stage. Run by the Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House opens at 12.00 noon for pre-race refreshments and entertainment. Read More.
The Emanuel School Boathouse
Located close to Barnes Bridge on the Middlesex bank, The Emanuel School Boathouse offers spectacular views of the final stages of the Race. There will be a BBQ and Bar from 12.30.
A large park and recreation ground adjacent to the river between Chiswick Bridge and Barnes Bridge on the Middlesex bank, Dukes Meadow provides views of the final stage of the race.